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The Roots OF Madness
Ham In The Oven
recorded in San Jose CA March 1972 at The Leskovsky front room.
1 Screamin At The Philharmonic 5:58
Jim and Chris: guitars
Don and Patrick Evans: trumpets, also alto sax
Geoff: alto sax
Dave alto sax, clarinet
Gary: percussion, drums
This tune was a free jazz homage to the great “Jazz At The Philharmonic” records that were produced in the late 40s and 1950s that often featured frenetic and emotionally charged honking and squawking in front of a live audience.
2. Thoughts On A Return Voyage 8:06
Don and Jim:guitars
Dave: first alto, clarinet
Chris: second alto
This improv was a free flowing, modal sort of piece, a style often played by The Roots
3. Two Pieces For Guitar 1:17
Don: acoustic guitar
Moe the dog: growling
A short instrumental written by Don and accompanied by the dog.
4. Ham In The Oven 3:59
Jim: front door, alto sax
Dave and Geoff: alto sax, violin
Don: slide guitar, vacuum
This was an all out free form, free jazz workout with the various members walking around the house to create distance and stereo effects.
5. Untitled Duet 0:31
Jim and Dave: alto saxes
A wild, double sax blowout.
6. Children At Play 11:34
Don and JIm: guitars
Dave: trumpet and Harmonica
Don and Jim worked out a theme and some various sections.
7. Bide Thy Time Precious Satan For Thee 5:34
Geoff: plays the reverend, vocals, speaks in tongues
Don: guitar, vocal
Jim: plays the announcer, vocals
Dave: vocals, harmonica
The cover is a detail from the artwork “The Girl In The Chair” by Peter Blind.
Roots Of Madness ( short history )
The Roots Of Madness were a group founded by Geoff Alexander and Don Campau in about 1969 in San Jose, California.
The group also included Joe Morrow, Jim Kulczynski, Dave Leskovsky, Patrick Evans, and Don’s brothers Gary and Chris, and Geoff’s sisters Vickie and occasionally Diane. There were also cameo appearances by other friends and relatives at various times.
This was an avant grade, ad hoc, high school friendship ensemble that was influenced by artists such as Albert Tyler, Pharaoh Sanders, Capt Beefheart, Karlheinz Stockhausen, primitive ethnic music and a host of other influences.
The Roots did their first practice in the back of The Leskovsky’s VW van. The Roots of Madness recorded their raw pieces, generally improvised on a reel to reel tape recorder owned by Geoff’s parents.
During their existence from 1969-1976, The Roots recorded one LP, “The Girl In The Chair” ( on the Dogmouth label) that was later re-issued by the De Stijl label from Minneapolis in 2005. The cover art work was a collage and drawing by the late artist Peter Blind and the liner notes were written by our mentor, Lorenzo W. Milam ( who sings the final song under the guise of PP McFeelie.
Later, 16 other CDRs were released with the remaining material from the reel to reel tapes.
More information ( and free downloads ) can be had at doncampau.com
The name of the group was derived from a film on China by Theodore White. ( “China: The Roots Of Madness”).
The Roots played very few live gigs. Occasionally they would perform in laundromats, overpass bridges, in the KTAO radio studios, in a record store ( Dogmouth Records ) owned by Geoff and Don, and one , more formal gig at Forbes Mill in Los Gatos ( Don could not show for the gig) . The gig also featured Russell Ferrante ( The Yellowjackets) and Danny Hull, local alto sax player.
The Roots Of Madness were spawned as an outgrowth of “Free Music” often hosted by John Hayden Gourley , at his house in the late 60s. This featured free jazz improvisation and a do anything approach.
Uploaded by Don Campau on